July 2021 Newsletter
by Gabrielle Rossi
Thank you so much for subscribing to our infrequent and informal newsletter! This will be the longest one so bear with me here and don't worry, the next ones will be much shorter!) Many of you have already started receiving our weekly or bi-weekly produce boxes and we've greatly enjoyed this method so far. It's been so fun hand selecting and packing exactly what goes into your boxes. We appreciate all the support we can get. By shopping from Grandpa Rossi's Garden you are supporting your local economy and providing income to our family and to our part-time farm hand, Alex. There has never been a greater need than now to band together, eat local, shop small, and honestly, just love and support one another.
Many of you may already know this, but in January Jordan and I went from being full-time caregivers to his grandmother to being thrown into the farming gig full time. The transition came quickly as no one can predict death. Grandma Margi was a huge part of our lives and it's been an interesting but also exciting journey into the life of non-traditional farming. They say it takes about 5 years to go from really struggling in a new business to being successful and self-sufficient. We're currently in our first year of full-time farming so we have quite a long road ahead of us. So far though...we're loving it! It's exhausting and rewarding. It's definitely a wonderful learning experience and one that I'm so glad our children can have along with us. (They are 10, 7, and 4!)
So what's been happening lately? Well, we jumped right in and started our first CSA! (This stands for Community Supported Agriculture). Basically what this means is we depend on you, our community, to support our business model. We don't sell to farmer's markets, grocery stores, or big businesses. (Not yet at least. We're certainly not ruling it out, but it's not our first choice.) We do sell to a couple restaurants directly and love seeing local eateries utilizing small farms and seasonal produce. We still have some bi-weekly summer box subscriptions available. These will run until October 5th. After that our fall season starts and we will have a new subscription to sign up for. (More on that later). We also sell on Harvestly.co and have been doing that for over a year. They're a Cal Poly student run business and have been an amazing stepping stone for us. We currently have about 20 customers through our own website and also get about 30 weekly orders via Harvestly. So, they really are invaluable to us.
What's growing in our garden right now? Well, we try to keep an endless supply of lettuce, kale, onions or leeks, chives, herbs, radishes, beets, and carrots. These things are easy to grow and extremely nutritious. Our summer items are S L O W going as we experienced a very unfortunate freeze (TWICE) at the end of May! Our garden really has it's own microclimate which can be good and bad. Thankfully, everything bounced back and is looking very healthy and lush. We have an abundance of squash ready to go, even! (Which you have already seen in your produce boxes each week). Soon, very soon, we will also have lemon cucumbers, large heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, bell peppers, cantaloupe, watermelons, and potatoes. (And maybe garlic?!) We've been partnering with a couple local farms (Templeton Valley and Little Black Cat) to supplement our boxes when I feel they need a little extra oomph!
Be sure to check out our website as I will be updating the BLOG with recipes! I'd absolutely love it if you would submit your own recipes with photos for me to include on the website. Just email or message on instagram and I'll get those uploaded! I've recently added a blog post with a recipe for crustless quiche...definitely check that out as it provides a good use for your kale and squash! ;) Have a wonderful, wonderful rest of your week and weekend. Stay safe, take care, and give someone a hug today. <3